KUALA LUMPUR: Darul Ta'zim owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim congratulated Faiz Subri for winning the Puskas Award in Zurich on Monday by stating that it was a fantastic individual achievement.
"But we musk ask ourselves, where does our football stand in terms of corruption, international standing and management in comparison to teams like Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines or Indonesia," said Tunku Ismail on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook account today.
"So what have I got to be proud of? It's true that Faiz's achievement is good, but when the FA of Malaysia (FAM) stated that his achievement is a benchmark for our football, I beg to differ.
"The reason being, he's only scored one goal, and a apart from that, he's been oblivious throughout the season.
"The media have been talking about Faiz's goal for the last three months leading to the award and now that he has won it, it seems that they will continue to speak about it for the next six months.
"Nonetheless, congratulations on that achievement but for Malaysian football and the media to place him on the pedestal and be comfortable with our current standing now, is not right.
"This is why the football in Malaysia and our country cannot progress in every aspect."
Tunku Ismail said:" I'm stating the truth, but all of you are stating things as if you are disillusioned or living in a dream.
"The benchmark for the nation's football is Darul Ta'zim.
"Darul Ta'zim's achievement in Asia is how the world learnt about the club.
"They've given their highest recognition after seeing our professional management blue print as well as the various projects that we've carried out.
"That should be the benchmark for Malaysian football. Darul Ta'zim should be a model for all teams in this country to emulate, and not use an individual who scored one goal as a benchmark.
"I'll be prouder to give recognition to players such as Zainal Abidin Hassan, Dollah Salleh, Santokh Singh, Amri Yahyah, Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan Radzak, Safee Sali, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Hairuddin Omar for their achievements for country and club.
"I will still recognize Faiz's achievements, but I will not place him on the pedestal like how the media, various social media pages and other Malaysians have done recently.
"Such action encourages us to be complacent and impede us from to striving further.
"No one is making any initiative to raise the level of management for our nation's football or raising the standards of our league.
"Teams with debts are still permitted to participate. There's nothing to be proud of.
"We should be working together to eradicate favoritism, every form of corruption in football, and raise the level of management in the national team.
"All of you are overly proud of an individual, but choose not to address more important elements such as our integrity and the current reputation of our football which I'm sure everyone is aware of."
Tunku Ismail added:"Football is a mystery. Sometimes we may do the right things, but the result may be good or bad.
"You may win and you may not. Players may score and they may not. You may be able to score one goal, win a Puskas Award with the whole country rejoicing, or you can be a puppet for a politician and that may get you a 'Datukship'.
"On the other hand, you may also be legends like Amri, Safiq and many more who scores consistently every season be it for their club or the national team."